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The results from the Canadian Management Centre's first survey on employee engagement, confidence and trust should give every CEO pause.

The CMC "Build a Better Workplace: Employee Engagement Edition" found that 23% of employees surveyed are only getting out of bed in the morning for the paycheque. More than a quarter of employees, 27%, are highly engaged, meaning they'll go above and beyond their job description to help they're organization achieve its goals. That leaves half of respondents moderately engaged, meaning they're satisfied, but not trying that hard. Ipsos Reid polled 1,200 employees of companies with a workforce of  at least 100 employees, across 15 sectors.

John Wright, CMC's Toronto-based president and managing director, calls the result alarming and disappointing. "There have been countless statistical studies in the last decade that show explicit performance links between highly engaged workforces and their marketplace performance."

One reason for this disengagement could be a lack of trust of senior leadership. Less than half, 44%, said they have confidence in the business decisions of their leaders, and only 40% trust what senior leaders say.

Read: 3 No-Fail Ways To Build Trust With Employees

Interestingly, trust, confidence and engagement rates varied between the generations. Turns out Gen X (ages 32 to 47) are the least engaged (22%) and have the least confidence in leadership (38%)—extremely alarming because these are likely your people managers.

Traditionalists, workers 67 years and older, are highly engaged (49%), which Wright attributes to the fact they are still working after the age of 65 and most likely to work autonomously.

In the future, Wright and his team will dig deeper into the intergenerational results to look at how companies can engage different generations of workers.

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